Czech & Frenchman earn first Australian Open wins

#NextGenATP stars Jakub Mensik and Luca Van Assche both reached the second round at the Australian Open for the first time on Monday.

The 18-year-old Czech Mensik dispatched former World No. 10 Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 on his main-draw debut to set a second-round meeting against ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz or Australian qualifier Omar Jasika.

"It is an awesome feeling," Mensik told "It is just my second experience playing main draw at a Grand Slam and I am pleased I got the win today. Playing against Shapovalov, a former Top 10 player who has the skills, so it was a very tough match from the start. I am happy I won in straight sets and can continue. The job is not done."

Mensik, who came through qualifying, reached the third round at the US Open last year and showed why against the Canadian Shapovalov. He saved all eight break points he faced and struck 31 winners to advance after two hours and 21 minutes.

"It was such an amazing experience to play my first Grand Slam last year and reach the third round. The confidence and experience I gained then and I can show here in Australia," Mensik said. "I feel more comfortable as I know the feeling to play at a Grand Slam against the big guys."

The 19-year-old Frenchman Van Assche, who fell in the first round in Melbourne last year, clawed past Australian James Duckworth 6-7(2), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and 36 minutes.

Van Assche, who competed at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah in December, won 88 per cent (59/67) of his first-serve points. The No. 87 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings will next play Italian Lorenzo Musetti after the two-time Next Gen ATP Finals competitor beat Benjamin Bonzi 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2.